KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City U.S. Marine Corps veteran is continuing to give back to his community, this time through his gift of art and passion for history.
“There are a lot of thoughts that come to peoples heads when they think of a marine but I think he really shows us every possible facet of it,” Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
Corporal Taylor Jackson served in Marine Corps for six-years. When he’s not working in the mayor’s office, Jackson is ensuring the legacy of Black soldiers in the Kansas City Area, are remembered and appreciated for their work.
“I want people to know that people of color have fought hard to build this country, honestly,” Jackson said. “From the revolutionary war with the first Rhode Island Regiment all the way to today were you have guys like me, Corporal Jackson.”
Now on display at the Black Archives of Mid-America is the exhibit Jackson curated called “Valor!”
The name of exhibit was not given lightly and was meant to reflect the deep courage it takes to enlist into the military even more so when the rights you’re fighting for are yet to be equal.
“I said this is perfect for the show,” Jackson said referencing the name of the exhibit. “Especially given what these individuals have gone through, from our ancestors of the past to the buffalo soldiers and the veterans that we have out here, it took valor!”
Lucas called the exhibit well curated and a nod to service members in Kansas City.
“This was a well curated exhibit that isn’t just about, hey black people have been in the army,” Lucas said. “But instead it’s something that’s saying, how can we really tell these stories and speak to the family legacy and impact, much like Taylor himself knew.”
Through his third curation at the museum, Jackson hopes to bring to life the real heroes who have gone on to influence history and the ones who are still writing it. Like Chief Master Sgt. Morcie Whitley, daughter of Tuskegee Airman, Morris Whitley.
“These are people that we can all relate to," Jackson said. "I have uncles who are veterans, my father was a veteran and just as I’m sure that a lot of black youth here that have somebody who has served in the military so I just wanna give a chance to tell that story."
The “Valor!” Exhibit runs through March 5 at the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City.